How Saving Water Helps Reduce Global Warming
I waste water. I admit it, I love a nice long leisurely shower. And
based on what I learned while being a municipal public works
employee, it’s about one of the worst things I can do to
the environment. Saving water should be on the top of everyone’s list.
Let me explain why:
In the next twenty years, water shortage
(along with and related to global warming)
is going to be one of the greatest threats to
mankind’s survival since
reality TV, combo meals, and texting while driving.
shortages can grow exponentially. This has much to do with the
way potable drinking water is delivered to your humble abode. I hate to
say it, but most people have do not have a clue how that water got in their
flue. Let’s just say that every gallon of water you use increases your
carbon footprint – massively. Let me explain how:
have to get the water to the water treatment plant so you dig a well, divert
a river, desalinate the briny blue ocean, or dam up something and create a
reservoir. And how do we build things in America, with big, really
big construction equipment. The thing about those great big yellow
diggers and bulldozers is that they use lots and lots of diesel
fuel. Of course, burning
diesel fuel creates carbon dioxide, soot,
and, well you get the picture.
Also, when you diverted or
dammed the river, you probably flooded and killed who knows how many
trees and plants that would have otherwise transformed carbon dioxide into
Drilling wells presents its own challenges. An
underground reservoir (an aquifer) has a fixed recharge rate which often
depends on rainfall. So you had better not suck it out faster than it
dripped in. And of course, maybe your
fracking buddies with the funky pipeline might turn
your well into a Bunsen burner.
After treating the water,
it has to get to your house. That involves miles and miles of very
high pressure pipelines with lots of
electric pumps. The greater the demand for water, the more the very
large, very powerful, very hungry electric pumps kick-in. And how do we
make our kilowatts in the U.S.? The table below shows the various
methods of electrical power generation by
Therefore, 68% of electrical power generation in America
involves burning fossil fuels which increases our carbon
Because providing you with clean water uses so much
electricity, you can see that opening the tap creates more global
warming crap. How can you save water? Try these water
Get a low flow toilet.
to the Federal Energy Management Program, a 1.6 gpf low flow toilet
will reduce water usage from 27,300
gallons to 12,500 gallons per
When they first appeared in 1994, low flow
toilets often clogged and required double flushing. Thankfully this
is no longer the case! Redesigned, modern low flow toilets work quite
well and can save you a lot of money too!
One leaky faucet can waste 35 gallons per
year. Imagine the cumulative water wasting if only half of the
homes in America had just one leaky faucet!
Dislike cold showers? Most of us waste
water waiting for the hot water to reach the showerhead. Insulating
your hot water pipes will save water, gas, and prevent your pipes
Take a sailor’s shower.
you know that if you reduce your shower time by just 1-2 minutes you can save
up to 700 gallons per month? Adding a low flow showerhead to the mix can
save up to 800 gallons of water per month.
(Note: I still take
long showers but I save water by taking a “sailors shower”. That
is, I rinse and then turn off the water. Soap up
then rinse again, turn off the water, and so
Use energy star approved
Look for the energy star label when you purchase a
dish or clothes washer. You may also qualify for a rebate from your
local utility company.
Don’t water your lawn
during the day.
Water your lawn early in the morning to
avoid excessive evaporation. (Early morning watering will help
prevent grass diseases as well.) Also, avoid
frequent watering. You’ll find that occasional deep
watering’s build healthier roots and save
Test your garden sprinklers. Don’t
water the sidewalk, (don’t be
a gutter flooder!)
Leaky irrigation systems,
overwatering, broken or incorrectly aimed sprinklers can waste hundreds
of gallons of water.
Plant a drought
If you live in a hot dry climate, plants which require
large amounts of water are ill-advised. Instead, consider landscaping
with drought tolerant xeriscapic plants. They not only require
very little water, but they are colorful and disease resistant.
Add a “drip-watering” system to your garden for even more water
Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to plant my drought
Hi! I’m Michael, the webmaster at the new The
Environmentally Friendly Shoppe at http://enfriendshop.com/index.html
Environmentally Friendly Shoppe is a light-hearted website which advocates
green sustainable living.
We feature recurring articles such as The
Hypo Critic Oaf which depicts one flawed man’s journey to reach an
eco-friendly lifestyle. We publish Rogers PET Column, an article
discussing green living from a dog’s point of view. Finally, we have a
shopping directory featuring ecologically sound products. We also have
an environmental blog!
Hope to see you there